Early Childhood

Early Childhood Education - Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten

Program Overview

Children in our Early Childhood Education program have the opportunity to learn by doing, making students active participants in the learning process. Teachers foster creativity by providing planned and purposeful hands-on and exploratory experiences to stimulate exploration and critical thinking. The play-based program provides a predictable and secure environment where children develop academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. Students develop confidence, respect for others, and excitement about learning.

The Three-Day and Five-Day Pre-School Programs 
(Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or (Monday-Friday)

The preschool program serves as an introduction to school and a foundation for increasing skills and knowledge in social and academic areas. Limited class sizes and numerous small-group and individual learning opportunities allow teachers to gauge each student’s progress and respond to their individual learning strengths and needs.

Preschoolers practice listening and speaking skills in a literature-rich environment. The curriculum includes listening and responding to stories, both in the classroom and in the school library.

Students work on important, age-appropriate skills, including identifying shapes and sizes, categorizing and comparing, counting, and developing number sense.

Students learn about the world around them through themed science units, including hands-on experiments and classroom visits from community helpers. Lessons take place in the classroom and in the school garden.

Art and music are important components of the curriculum, which includes a weekly music and movement class and a variety of formal and informal art projects throughout the year. Children are provided the opportunity to develop important fine and gross motor skills while expanding their creativity and self-expression.


The Five-Day Pre-Kindergarten Program

The pre-kindergarten program provides students with opportunities to build kindergarten readiness skills through play-based activities that provide direct experience, guided practice, and independent discovery. With a carefully structured curriculum based on a whole-child approach, students develop academic, social, and emotional skills; a sense of values and ethics; and physical dexterity to prepare them for the next steps of their academic lives.

Pre-kindergarten students practice recognizing and the manipulating letters and sounds used in English to prepare them for reading in kindergarten. In addition, students use the Handwriting Without Tears program to build a strong foundation in letter and number formation. Throughout the day, children read and respond to stories, and they visit the school library each week for story time.

Students work on important, age-appropriate skills, including identifying shapes and sizes, categorizing and comparing, measuring, graphing, and counting. Critical thinking skills and number sense are emphasized.

Students are encouraged to follow their curiosity and hone their observation skills through a series of lessons and experiments that take place both inside and out of the classroom. Classroom visitors, selected readings, and play-based learning opportunities allow children to explore their world.

Art and music are important components of the curriculum. Students participate in a weekly music and movement class and a variety of formal and informal art projects throughout the year. Art provides children a fun and useful platform for developing important fine and gross motor skills and expanding their creativity and self-expression.

In addition to daily informal play on the playground, pre-kindergartners have PE twice each week. Through games and activities, muscle control and development, good sportsmanship, and cooperation are emphasized.


Transitional Kindergarten (TK)

Transitional Kindergarten (TK) is an exciting first step in a youngster's elementary school life. Nurturing each child's natural curiosity, interests, and talents is at the heart of St. Paul’s School's TK curriculum.

Students enjoy a program that emphasizes reading and the building of a strong foundation for reading development, listening, and comprehension skills. Math concepts, including number sense, counting, estimation, and others, are explored. The study of animal habitats, plant life, and the forces of nature introduce students to scientific concepts. Visits to local resources, museums, farms, and the Fresno Chaffee Zoo, further enhance classroom learning. Students learn to become members of the school community, participating in the school’s pullouts: Physical Education class, Spanish, Music, and Art.